Traditional Literacy V. Media Literacy

In class I was asked to answer 2 questions before doing any research on the topic:

  1. How has literacy been impacted by digital media?
  2. How can media instruction be integrated into the curriculum?

My initial response was as such:

While the gut reaction response would be to say that the increase of tv shows, YouTube videos, and video games has decreased literacy, I believe that literacy has increased due to digital media. Perhaps the “sophisticated” forms of literacy of the past are diminishing, but these are being replaced with forms of literacy which are much more prevalent in our everyday lives. People may not sit down and pen letters much, however they are texting and Snapchatting, posting Facebook and Twitter updates, sending emails and Slack messages hundreds of times a day. As a child I was forced to sit down and spend time writing, my nieces now post 500 word comments on their friends YouTube videos! Traditional literacy is not dying due to digital media, it is evolving into something different. It is evolving to a place where in a college and business environments it is not abnormal to use emoji’s and gif’s to communicate, in fact many professional communication tools contribute to the use of these.

Using digital media is one thing, however it is incredibly important to understand how to create media. By tying in video, photography, and audio projects into curriculum, it enhances the learning experience of any subject. Why have students write a paper on Shakespeare when you can have them film a mini documentary about his life, or re-enact a scene from a show and edit it together with audio interviews from experts in the field?

After going through many articles and videos on the topic (see list below) I believe my initial answer stands up. According to a study published by Early Childhood Research Quarterly, adding multi-media rich content into childhood education does indeed have positive impact on learning ability (Penuel, 2012). According to the article, there must be an openness to media on part of the school leaders and teachers in order for a positive outcome to take effect. Educators must be open to media in order to fully embrace its benefits, or else it will only be used an analog substitute and have no long lasting benefits to learning or media literacy.

When integrating media literacy into education, we must focus on the psychological effects of the media and teach students how to dissect media in general. In Media Literacy, Edition 7, by W. James Potter, he says, “Taking control is what media literacy is all about. Becoming more media literate gives you a much clearer perspective to see the border between your real world and the world manufactured by the media.”   Media literacy education is imperative for the new generation of students. While we are all influenced by media, the younger generations are being bombarded by a constant stream of media and are being influence at a much higher rate. Without the skillset to breakdown media messages we are inundated with, we can become trapped in what Andrea Quijada calls a revolving door of corporate manipulation (Quijada, 2013).

 

 

Quijada, A. (2013, Feb). Creating Critical Thinkers through media literacy [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHAApvHZ6XE&feature=youtu.be

Penuel, W. R., Bates, L., Gallagher, L. P., Pasnik, S., Llorente, C., Townsend, E., … VanderBorght, M. (2012). Supplementing literacy instruction with a media-rich intervention: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(1), 115–127. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2011.07.002

 

 

Readings and writings:

Creating critical thinkers through media literacy: Andrea Quijada at TEDxABQED
Center for Media Literacy
Framework for 21st Century Skills- Media Literacy
National Association of Media Literacy Education NAMLE
The Media Literacy Project
The Myth of Digital Literacy
Media Literacy, Edition 7, W. James Potter, offers a rationale for the need to address, even accelerate, media literacy instruction.  Please read through this introduction, on Google Books, pages 1-12
Penuel, W. R., Bates, L., Gallagher, L. P., Pasnik, S., Llorente, C., Townsend, E., Hupert, N., et al. (2012). Supplementing literacy instruction with a media-rich intervention: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(1), 115-127.

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